New Delhi. Abdul Basit requested to take his retirement before his tenure was scheduled to end in April 2018. Soon after Abdul Basit announced his early retirement, Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday took charge as Pakistan’s high commissioner to India.
Sohail joined Pakistan’s Foreign Service in 1985 and has served as a diplomat in New York, Washington, Ankara and Bangkok but never served in India before.
Before assuming his position at Ankara, Mahmood was Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, where he earlier served as Director General (2005-2009), Director (1995-1998) and Section Officer (1986-1991). He was born in 1962 and has done Masters in History and International Relations.
Basit was taking charge as high commissioner in 2014 and his tenure was scheduled to end in April 2018. Though, Basit had requested to be allowed to retire before his tenure ends, which was accepted by the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Basit reportedly had appealed to retire as he was not willing to work under his junior Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, who was promoted to a top bureaucratic position in March this year.